Best Waterproof iPhone Cases

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best waterproof iPhone cases

Last Updated November 2019

One of the leading causes of iPhone damage is water. Somehow, we continue to drop our iPhones into toilets, pools, lakes, oceans, and even showers time and time again. In fact, since over 70% of the world’s surface represents a threat to our iPhones, there is no reason not to have a waterproof iPhone case.

If you read the fine print on your new iPhone, you'll realize that Apple has some pretty detailed disclaimers about how waterproof its new iPhones really are. Even if you have an iPhone that is rated IP67, you're still going to want it in a waterproof case to be safe.

We looked at the available waterproof iPhone cases and put together this shopping guide for you, including several we think stand out from the rest.

There is no such thing as a waterproof iPhone. An iPhone may temporarily resist water under specific conditions, but it isn’t truly waterproof.

Considerations

Understanding IP codes

IP stands for “ingress protection,” which means how easily unwanted items, specifically dust and water, can get inside your device. An IP code has two numbers that detail this. The first number ranges from 0 to 6, while the second number ranges from 0 to 9. The higher the number, the greater the protection. Hence, IP00 means that there is no protection against dust or water, while IP67 means that something keeps dust out and can be immersed in very shallow water under the specific conditions defined by the manufacturer. If the IP code has an X, that means there is no data available to specify a rating.

Soft vs. hard case

There are two types of waterproof iPhone case: soft and hard.

  • Soft: A soft case is actually a pouch with a locking top. Usually, this type of a case is clear so you can take pictures through the pouch. Pouch-type cases are designed to be universal. As long as it is large enough for the iPhone to fit inside, you will most likely be okay.

  • Hard: A hard case clamps securely over your iPhone using a seal that keeps the water out. Hard cases are designed to specifically fit only one model of iPhone. If you’re getting a hard case, make sure you get one that is exactly the size you need.

Buoyancy

If you get a waterproof iPhone case that is designed to float and you accidentally drop your iPhone off the edge of a boat, your phone will stay on the surface of the water so you can easily snatch it back up.

EXPERT TIP

If your iPhone gets soaked, turn it off, drain it, clean it, wipe it off, and air-dry it in cool (not hot) air.


Staff  | BestReviews

Usability

The one drawback to having your iPhone in a waterproof case is that the case may prevent you from using your iPhone. If you need to use your phone while it’s in its waterproof case, look for one that allows you to access its features.

Lanyard

Some waterproof iPhone cases come with a lanyard so you can wear your phone around your neck instead of holding it in your hand.

Other protection

If you plan to engage in an activity such as snowboarding or surfing, a case that’s only waterproof isn’t going to provide enough protection. You need an iPhone case that also protects against shock. Some cases protect against dust, snow, and drops, too.

Price

You can find waterproof iPhone cases that cost from as little as $5 to more than $22. In the upper price range you’ll find cases that also protect against dust, shock, and drops.

It’s important to remember that after placing your iPhone in a waterproof case, many of the phone's features may not be accessible.

FAQ

Q. I have the latest iPhone. Do I still need a waterproof case?

A. If you anticipate any more exposure to water than a spilled drink or getting caught in a brief shower, you need a waterproof case. Apple states in the fine print that the company's iPhones are water resistant only and even that condition is not permanent.

Q. What’s the difference between waterproof and water resistant?

A. A waterproof item is completely impervious to water. Most gadgets are only designed to resist water, meaning an unprotected iPhone might be able to handle a little splash, but dropping it in a pool could still ruin it.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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